A few months ago, some friends and I agreed to read Matthew in our own times of prayer and Bible study. For the last few weeks, I have been stuck on Matthew 9:39 where Jesus says, “Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” As I honestly and prayerfully reflect on that verse, I find that often I want to lose my life in medium steps - not the really big ones.
Today is the 30th anniversary of the assassination of Bishop Oscar Romero from El Salvador, a devoted and devout Roman Catholic leader who lifted up the cause of the poor and oppressed in the midst of the Salvadoran Civil War.
As you’re getting your students ready for spring break service trips, perhaps you can spend a few minutes reflecting on the person and teaching of Oscar Romero. Here are a few powerful quotes:
“A church that suffers no persecution but enjoys the privileges and support of the things of the earth - beware! - is not the true church of Jesus Christ. A preaching that does not point out sin is not the preaching of the gospel. A preaching that makes sinners feel good, so that they are secured in their sinful state, betrays the gospel’s call.” (1/22/78).
“The church would betray its own love for God and its fidelity to the gospel if it stopped being . . . a defender of the nights of the poor . . . a humanizer of every legitimate struggle to achieve a more just society . . . that prepares the way for the true reign of God in history”. (8/6/79)
Bishop Romero lost his life not in medium steps, but in large leaps.
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